Ways To Deal With Your Disrespectful Brother-In-Law

9 Ways To Deal With Your Disrespectful Brother-In-Law Like an Expert

Is your brother-in-law running your life? He insults you, ignores you, and makes you feel unwelcome. You are not alone. Many people have to deal with disrespectful relatives.

A study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry finds that family dysfunction, including disrespect, can cause a higher risk of chronic. Therefore, You need to deal with your brother-in-law.

In this article, you will learn 9 ways to handle your rude relative. These are proven methods that experts recommend. They will help you cope with his behavior and improve your relationship.

7 Reasons For Your Brother-In-Law Being Rude to You

Before we dive into the ways to deal with your disrespectful brother-in-law, let’s first try to understand why he is acting this way.

There could be many reasons behind his behavior, and some of them may have nothing to do with you. Here are some of the most common ones:

1: Jealousy or insecurity

One of the possible reasons why your brother-in-law is rude to you is that he is jealous or insecure. He may feel threatened by your relationship with your partner or your perceived success.

He may think that you are taking away his sibling’s attention or affection, or that you are better than him in some aspects. He may also have low self-esteem and project his insecurities onto you.

If this is the case, you have to reassure him that you are not competing with him or trying to replace him.

You should also compliment him on his achievements or qualities and show interest in his life. This may help him feel more confident and valued, and reduce his need to put you down.

2: Personality clashes

Some individuals have naturally clashing communication styles or values. For example, you may be more introverted and he may be more extroverted, or you may be more liberal and he may be more conservative.

These differences can cause misunderstandings, disagreements, or conflicts.

If this is the case, you should respect his personality and preferences and avoid topics that may trigger arguments.

You should also find some common ground or interests that you can bond over. You may not be able to change his personality, but you can try to understand and appreciate his perspective.

3: Misunderstandings or unresolved issues

Past conflicts or unclear boundaries also contribute to tension and resentment. He may hold a grudge against you for something you said or did, or he may feel that you have violated his expectations or norms.

If this is the case, you have to clear the air and address the issues directly. You should apologize for any mistakes or misunderstandings, and express your feelings and needs calmly and respectfully.

Set some healthy boundaries and rules for your relationship, and stick to them. This will help you resolve the conflicts and prevent future ones.

4: Cultural differences

Another possible reason why your brother-in-law is rude to you is that you have cultural differences. Upbringing and cultural norms can influence communication styles and expectations.

For example, you may come from different countries, religions, or ethnicities, and have different views on family, marriage, or gender roles. These differences may cause confusion, miscommunication, or offense.

In this case, learn more about his culture and background, and appreciate the diversity. You can explain your own culture and values, and how they affect your behavior and choices.

Respect his culture and traditions, and avoid imposing your own. This may help you bridge the gap and foster mutual understanding.

5: Personal issues

Husband and wife worried

He may be struggling with stress, addiction, or other challenges that impact his behavior. He may be unhappy, frustrated, or depressed, and lash out at you as a way of coping.

In this case, you have to be compassionate and supportive and avoid taking his behavior personally. You can encourage him to seek professional help or join a support group if he is willing.

You should also protect yourself from his negativity and toxicity and limit your contact with him if necessary. This may help you maintain your well-being and peace of mind.

6: Family dynamics

Dysfunctional family patterns or favoritism within the family may influence his behavior. For example, he may be the golden child or the scapegoat of the family, and have a distorted sense of self or entitlement.

He may also have unresolved issues with his parents or siblings, and project them onto you.

You Should avoid getting involved in the family drama, and stay neutral and objective. You can communicate with your partner and other family members and establish a united front against his rudeness.

You should set some ground rules for family gatherings and enforce them consistently. It will you create a healthier and happier family environment.

7: Simple rudeness

A seventh and last possible reason why your brother-in-law is rude to you is that he is simply rude. Some individuals lack respect and social awareness, regardless of the relationship.

They have bad manners, poor communication skills, or a hostile attitude. They do not care about how their words or actions affect others, or they may enjoy hurting or provoking others.

In this scenario, you have to confront him and call out his behavior. You should tell him how his rudeness makes you feel, and ask him to stop.

9 Ways To Deal With Your Disrespectful Brother-In-Law

Now that you have some idea of why your brother-in-law dislikes you, let’s look at some of the ways you can deal with him like an expert. Here are some of the best tips and strategies to handle your disrespectful brother-in-law:

How to To Deal With Your Disrespectful Brother-In-Law

1: Set clear boundaries

One of the most important steps to deal with your disrespectful brother-in-law is to set clear boundaries. You need to communicate your non-negotiable limits on what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior, and what are the consequences for disrespect.

For example, you tell him that you will not tolerate name-calling, insults, or criticism and that you will end the conversation or leave the room if he does so.

You may also tell him that you expect him to treat you with respect and courtesy and that you will do the same for him.

By setting clear boundaries, you are showing him that you value yourself and your relationship and that you will not allow him to cross the line.

2: Practice assertive communication

Another key step to dealing with your disrespectful brother-in-law is to practice assertive communication. You need to use “I” statements, calmly express your feelings, and avoid accusatory language.

For example, you can say “I feel hurt and angry when you call me names, and I would appreciate it if you stop doing that.” instead of “You are such a jerk, and you always insult me.”

By practicing assertive communication, you are expressing your needs and emotions without being aggressive or passive. You are also giving him a chance to understand your perspective and respond accordingly.

3: Choose your battles

A third step to dealing with your disrespectful brother-in-law is to choose your battles. You need to decide which situations require addressing and which to let go of for your peace of mind.

Not every rude remark or action deserves a response, and sometimes ignoring or walking away is the best option.

You should consider the frequency, severity, and impact of his behavior, and whether confronting him will make things better or worse.

By choosing your battles, you are saving your energy and time for the things that matter, and avoiding unnecessary stress and drama

Husband wife arguing in kitchen

4: Build a united front with your partner

Discuss strategies with your partner and present a united front to your brother-in-law. For example, if he criticizes your parenting, agree on how to respond together to show a unified stance.

By building a united front with your partner, you are strengthening your relationship and showing your brother-in-law that you are a team.

5: Limit interactions, if necessary

Reduce exposure to your brother-in-law’s negativity by setting boundaries and prioritizing your well-being. It’s okay to limit contact to protect your mental health and maintain a positive environment for yourself and your family.

6: Seek support

Seek emotional support from trusted friends, family, or a therapist to navigate challenging interactions with your brother-in-law. Talking to others can provide perspective and guidance on how to handle the situation effectively.

7: Focus on self-care

Prioritize self-care activities that help you manage stress and maintain emotional balance. Whether it’s practicing mindfulness, exercising, or engaging in hobbies, taking care of yourself is crucial in dealing with a difficult family dynamic.

8: Document his behavior

If necessary, keep a record of disrespectful incidents involving your brother-in-law. Documenting his behavior can provide evidence for future reference or potential intervention if the situation escalates.

9: Consider professional mediation

If the above steps don’t work for you, you should explore involving a neutral third party, such as a counselor, a mediator, or a family therapist, to facilitate communication and find solutions.

A professional can help you and your brother-in-law understand each other’s perspectives, identify the root causes of the problem, and negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement.

Effects of a disrespectful brother-in-law?

Having a disrespectful brother-in-law can be challenging and stressful, but it can also have serious effects on your marriage life, your children, and your health.

Sad husband and wife sitting in bedroom

On your Marriage Life

A disrespectful brother-in-law can strain your relationship with your spouse and create tension in your marriage.

You may feel unsupported or betrayed by your spouse if they don’t stand up for you or confront their sibling.

You can also have arguments or disagreements with your spouse over how to deal with your brother-in-law or how to handle family events.

To prevent or minimize these effects, you need to communicate openly and honestly with your spouse and work as a team to deal with your brother-in-law.

On your Children

A disrespectful brother-in-law can also affect your children, especially if they witness or experience his rude behavior.

Your children can develop emotional or behavioral problems, such as anxiety, depression, or aggression, due to the stress and negativity

Your children may learn unhealthy or inappropriate behaviors or attitudes from their uncle, such as disrespect, aggression, or manipulation.

To protect your children from these effects, you need to shield them from your brother-in-law’s toxicity and limit their exposure to him.

On you Health

A disrespectful brother-in-law can also have detrimental effects on your health, both mental and physical. You may have a higher risk of cardiac events, including fatal heart attacks, due to the negative relationship with your brother-in-law.

A 2007 study found that being in a negative relationship puts people at a higher risk of cardiac events. Poor family relationships have also been linked to slower wound healing times and reduced pain tolerance.

To improve your health, you need to focus on self-care and prioritize activities and practices that help you manage stress and maintain emotional balance.

How to avoid arguments with a disrespectful brother-in-law?

Having a disrespectful brother-in-law can be challenging and stressful, but it doesn’t have to lead to arguments and conflicts.

There are ways to avoid arguments with a disrespectful brother-in-law and maintain a peaceful and respectful relationship. Some of the tips are:

  • Maintain calm: Don’t let your brother-in-law’s rudeness provoke you or make you lose your temper. Try to control your emotions and stay composed. This will prevent the situation from escalating and show him that you are mature and respectful.
  • Practice active listening: Show your brother-in-law that you are willing to listen and understand his point of view. Pay attention, show interest, and give feedback. This may help him feel heard and respected, and reduce his need to be rude or defensive.
  • Avoid provocative topics: Stay away from topics that may trigger arguments or disagreements, such as politics, religion, or personal issues. Focus on neutral or positive topics that you can agree on or enjoy.

How to forgive a disrespectful brother-in-law?

Forgiveness is not about condoning or forgetting his behavior, but about letting go of the anger and resentment that may be holding you back.

Forgiveness can help you move forward heal, and improve your relationship with your brother-in-law. Some of the tips on how to forgive a disrespectful brother-in-law are:

Acknowledge your feelings: Don’t suppress or deny your emotions, but allow yourself to feel them and healthily express them. 

Understand his perspective: Try to empathize with his situation or reasons for being disrespectful. He may have issues or challenges that affect his behavior. He may also have a different personality or culture that influences his communication style or expectations. This will help you see him as a human being, and not as an enemy.

Decide to forgive: Make a conscious choice to forgive your brother-in-law, and commit to it. Tell him that you forgive him, if you feel comfortable. This will help you make peace with yourself and him.

Set boundaries: Forgiving your brother-in-law doesn’t mean that you have to accept or tolerate his behavior. You still need to set clear and firm boundaries on what is acceptable and unacceptable and enforce them consistently.

When should I consider cutting ties with my brother-in-law?

Cutting ties with your brother-in-law may seem like a drastic or extreme measure, but sometimes it may be the best option for your well-being and happiness.

There are some scenarios where cutting ties with your brother-in-law might be necessary, such as:

  1. When his behavior is abusive or extremely toxic. If your brother-in-law is physically, emotionally, verbally, or sexually abusive to you or your children, you need to cut ties with him immediately and seek help.
  2. When he refuses to change or respect your boundaries. If he repeatedly violates your boundaries or ignores your requests, you may also need to cut ties with him and show him that you are serious.
  3. If your brother-in-law is causing a rift or a conflict between you and your partner or your family, you may need to cut ties with him and prioritize your relationship.


Having a disrespectful brother-in-law can be hard and sad, but you can do something about it. You can try to understand why he is rude, and how you can deal with him.

You can also try to forgive him or cut ties with him if you need to. You can also take care of yourself and your family, and be happy and healthy.

We hope that this article has helped you learn some things and feel better. We also hope that you can have a good relationship with your brother-in-law, or at least avoid arguments with him.

Do you have a disrespectful brother-in-law? How do you cope with him? What tips or advice would you give to others? Please share your thoughts and stories in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about dealing with a disrespectful brother-in-law.

1: Is it possible to repair the relationship with my brother-in-law?

Yes, it is possible to repair a relationship with your brother-in-law. Open communication, understanding, and forgiveness are key. Discuss your feelings honestly, listen to each other, and work together to find solutions. Remember, patience and time are important in mending relationships.

2: How do I deal with a manipulative brother-in-law?

To deal with a manipulative brother-in-law, maintain clear boundaries and communicate openly. Do not engage in arguments, and avoid reacting to provocations. Seek advice from trusted individuals or professionals. Remember, it’s important to protect your well-being.

3: How do I deal with a nasty brother-in-law?

To handle a nasty brother-in-law, stay calm and respectful. Avoid confrontations and keep your interactions minimal. Focus on maintaining peace in the family. If necessary, discuss the issue with your spouse or other family members for support and guidance.

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